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“Fun beach, but can be crowded” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Orient Bay Beach

Orient Bay Beach
Orient Bay, St. Maarten-St. Martin
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Valley Stream, New York, United States
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Fun beach, but can be crowded”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

Some people consider this "the" beach in St. Maarten. It is certainly a big beach and you can probably find anything you want on it if you walk its whole length, but unless you're there to get some exercise, most people won't do that. We walked a little ways from where we parked (smack in the middle of the beach, in front of the Bikini Beach Bar), decided everything in the immediate vicinity was pretty much the same, and rented the first set of beach chairs we could find unoccupied in the "front row". And we ended up spending the better part of the day there.

There's nothing really bad to say about this beach except that it's just a little too much of everything for my tastes. I like things a little quieter and more open and Orient Beach attracts a lot of people, has a lot of facilities dotting pretty much every part of the beach that we could see, and has activities like parasailing and seadoo tours set up every couple hundred feet. If you're looking for that kind of thing (and I know some people are), this is the beach for you. It is not as crowded as some of the well known beaches in the United States that I've been to, like Coney Island or Long Beach in New York, or much of the Jersey shore. So I still found it enjoyable - once we got our spot, it was fine, and I admit it was nice having food and drinks brought out to us on command.

We didn't visit the nude section of the beach but we still saw a lot more topless people than at other beaches we visited. I'm fine with that, but just thought I'd mention it.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank Jeff W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Spring Lake, New Jersey
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Orient Bay Beach - Aloha Beach Bar & Rest. - worth the trip alone....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

Not much into nudity on the beaches given most people should stick to swimwear but the gem of a find was Nathalie who is as charming as they come as the hostess. The place she runs is not only friendly but clean and, surprisingly for a beach front, very nicely decorated. The food was pretty darn good and the service more than timely. The free shots at the end of the meal were a pleasant surprise but after a quick chat with Nathalie while doing them, it's easy to understand why a trip here is worth it....Thx to Nathalie for making our 'stop' a fun one , we'll pass on the good word and hope to catchup sooner than later .... ;-)

Visited February 2013
Thank Al_D_Lax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania, United States
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Multiple beaches in one!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

Orient Beach is a great beach to visit no matter what you're looking for. At the far north is Palm Beach. If you have lunch there, 2 chairs and an umbrella (normally $20) are free.

Head south to Kontiki if you are looking for room to spread out, move your chairs around ($20), have drinks brought to you on the beach and grab a bite to eat. The service was very good and there are clean bathrooms. This is where we spent our day.

Looking for a bargain? In between Kontiki and the nudest beach, you'll find a bucket of 6 beers of your choice ranging in prices from $10 to $15. You'll also get 2 chairs and umbrella in that same price range. Probably because of the bargains, this is a more congested area and the chairs are close to each other with little wiggle room. There are also several shops in this section.

Just beyond the rock jetty is the nudest beach. We didn't go that far south.

If you want water activities, they are all available. Orient Beach is definetly a place you could visit multiple times and have a different experience with each trip.

Visited February 2013
Thank Janet S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Clothing Optional Beach - most accepting, natural place on Orient Bay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Orient Beach is famous for having a nude section at the south end. It really is clothing optional though. Wear as much or as little as you want. None of the regulars will care, gawk, or criticize.

What isn't as well known is that this seems to be the friendliest, safest, and most accepting section of the beach. It is not a "life-style" beach where there are perfect bodies sampling each other along with as much booze as they can hold. Being a family oriented area, public displays like that are quickly discouraged.

As we walked to the south end of the beach we saw some awesome people - a woman playing catch with her husband, probably for exercise following her breast reconstruction after a double mastectomy, a double amputee walking fearlessly along the surf on prosthetic legs, a family with two young children running in and out of the surf, squealing with glee and elderly couples supporting each other on their way into the water.

There were about 1,000 people on this part of the beach. Mostly couples, all ages. Friendly people accepting each other as they are, with all their blemishes and flaws. How can this not be a great beach? No pictures because cameras are not allowed here and all the beach patrons as well as the security guards enforce this policy politely.

If you chose to stay at Club Orient, you'll have a clean, quiet, private unit with a fully equipped kitchen. It's more like a neighborhood than a hotel. Most people who stay here have come for years (some for more than 30 years!). Why do they keep coming back? It isn't the entertainment (there's none to speak of). It isn't the fancy rooms (they're pretty basic unless you get one that is "owned" and the owners have upgraded the furnishings).

The reason we come back is that we always meet good people and have even run into the same friends year after year. Even when we don't spend a lot of time with other people, spending quiet time with each other is great. A simple dinner, a movie on our laptop or perhaps heading over to the club house to catch whatever is on tv. If this sounds like your sort of vacation, you should stay here. Pack lightly! No need to wear anything to get to the beach!

Visited February 2013
2 Thank English4Canadian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Upstate New York
Level Contributor
55 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Beautiful but.....leave us alone!!!!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We went on a tour and it included and hour at Orient Beach. It was so beautiful and the sand was so soft. The waves were a bit rough but we got some great video of crashing waves. Yes, we did see some nudity but nothing outrageous. We rented two loungers and umbrella so we didn't burn. As soon as our feet hit the sand local vendor women walking the beach kept approaching us to buy their goods. We politely declined and they moved on. We thought once we were settled they would leave us alone but....no. We continued to be polite but it was really annoying. I would go again but would give ourselves more than an hour since a good portion of that time was spent politely declining sales pitches.

Visited December 2012
Thank Wendy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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